The vast green pastures and the serenity of the scenery will always want you to come back to the beautiful New Zealand. With a lot of things to do, the important thing is that you know what you wanted to see. Who could ever forget the Lord of the Rings scenery? This is pretty much what is found here. The towering mountains and the lush are spread of greenery. Aside from this, never leave this country without getting to know the Maori culture, the dynamic tradition central to the identity of this beautiful city. The best place to experience this is on a Marae or the tribal meeting grounds. New Zealand is a gem rich in tradition and the revels of natural resources.
New Zealand – Important and interesting Facts
- The longest place name in the world is Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu, a hill in Hawkes Bay. It is the Māori name for a hill, 305 metres high, close to Porangahau, south of Waipukurau in southern Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.
- New Zealand is home to the world’s smallest dolphin species. Māui dolphin is a sub-species of Hector’s dolphins, the world’s smallest dolphin. They are found on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand and nowhere else in the world. It is one of the world’s rarest dolphins.
- Organised commercial bungee jumping first began in New Zealand. A J Hackett, who made his first jump from Auckland’s Greenhithe Bridge in 1986 and opening the world’s first permanent commercial bungee site, the Kawarau Bridge Bungy at the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge near Queenstown in the South Island of New Zealand
- The first man to climb Mt. Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary, was a Kiwi. He was born in 1919 and grew up in Auckland, New Zealand. Although he made his living as a beekeeper, he climbed mountains in New Zealand, then in the Alps, and finally in the Himalayas, where he climbed 11 different peaks of over 20,000 feet. By this time, Hillary was ready to confront the world’s highest mountain.
- The Maori name for New Zealand, Aoetaroa, means ‘land of the long white cloud’. This name was given to the country by the early Maori arrivals as they saw the land shrouded in cloud from their seafaring waka (ocean going canoes). For anyone traveling to New Zealand by plane nowadays it is still easy to see a blanket of cloud hugging the country as you fly in. Aotearoa is an apt a discription of our beautiful country today as it was about 1,500 years ago when Maori first arrived.
- Lake Taupo was formed by a super volcanic eruption 26,000 years ago. The dust from the eruption could be seen in modern day China. Lake Taupo is a lake situated in the North Island of New Zealand. With a surface area of 616 square kilometres (238 sq mi), it is the largest lake by surface area in New Zealand, and the second largest freshwater lake by surface area in geopolitical Oceania after Lake Murray (Papua New Guinea).
- New Zealand is home to the giant weta, the heaviest insect in the world. It is heavier than a sparrow and looks like a giant cockroach. Wētā are incredible looking creatures. They range in size, but with their big bodies, spiny legs, and curved tusks, they are one of New Zealand’s most recognisable creepy-crawlies. There are five broad groups of wētā which are the Tree wētā, Ground wētā, Cave wētā, Giant wētā, and Tusked wētā.
- Baldwin Street, in Dunedin, is the world’s steepest street. The road has a gradient of 1 in 2.86 at its steepest section, a 38 per cent grade. It is located in the residential suburb of North East Valley, 3.5 kilometres northeast of Dunedin’s city centre. The 161.2 metres (529 ft) long top section climbs 47.2 metres (155 ft) vertically, an average gradient of 1:3.41. At its maximum, about 70 metres (230 ft) below the top, the slope of Baldwin Street is about 1:2.86 (19° or 35%). That is, for every 2.86 metres travelled horizontally, the elevation changes by 1 metre.
- New Zealand and USA are the only two countries in the world where drug companies are permitted to advertise to the public. They are the only countries that allow DTCPA (Direct-to-Consumer Pharmaceutical Advertising) that includes product claims.
- Kiwifruit were originally called Chinese gooseberries. Packed with more vitamin C than an equivalent amount of orange, the bright green flesh of the kiwifruit speckled with tiny black seeds adds a dramatic tropical flair to any fruit salad.
New Zealand – Cool, Fun, and Funny Facts
- In the scene of Star Trek: First Contact, when Picard opens the airlock (with force field) to show Lily Earth from space, Australia and Papua New Guinea are clearly visible but, for some reason New Zealand is missing.
- Blue Lake, in Nelson Lakes National Park, has the clearest water in the world. It is a small lake in Nelson Lakes National Park, in the northern reaches of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Blue Lake is roughly boomerang shaped, running north then northwest, with each arm of the lake stretching some 200 metres (700 ft). Its waters are cold, ranging from 5 to 8 °C (41 to 46 °F)
- Auckland is one of the most affordable cities in the world to live. The Auckland urban area in the North Island of New Zealand is the largest and most populous urban area in the country. Auckland has a population of 1,413,700, which constitutes 31 percent of the country’s population. Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world
- One in three Auckland households owns a boat because regardless of where you are in the country you are never more than 128km from the sea.
- About one third of the country is protected national park. New Zealand has three world heritage sites, 14 national parks and an array of other reserves. More than 17,000 protected areas cover almost a third of the country, safeguarding stunning scenery, important ecosystems, and places of historic and scientific value.
- In the Lord of the Rings films, the beer drunk on camera was a custom New Zealand brew called ‘Sobering Thought’. This brew was created specifically for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as a beer was needed that looked authentic, while having a low alcohol volume. This way no actor’s performance was impaired. Harrington’s Sobering Thought is a part of New Zealand’s magic. This handcrafted ale was the official brew enjoyed by the actors in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It consists of a blend of Harrington’s Premium Stout
- The filming of these movies, Lord of The Rings, pumped around $200 million into the country’s economy. The New Zealand government even created a Minister for Lord of the Rings, to ensure the most money could be made from the films.
- Two New Zealand rescue dogs were taught to drive a car around a track, in order to prove the intelligence of shelter animals. The dog’s names are Monty, Porter and newly added trained Ginnie. The dogs were all rescued by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Auckland, New Zealand. The charity came up with the idea to train them to drive to prove how intelligent they were.
- There is a giant carnivorous snail living in the South Island which is called as Powelliphanta snail. These species of native carnivorous snails are the largest in the world, some growing as big as a man’s fist. They suck up earthworms like spaghetti but are among our most threatened invertebrates. Rats and possums are major predators.
- Gisborne airport has train tracks running across the middle of the runway. Quite often, trains and planes have to stop until one move out of the way. The airport is one of the very few airports in the world that has a railway line intersecting the runway. The Gisborne airport which covers a land of 160 hectares has three grass runways and one main runway that is intersected by the Palmerston North – Gisborne Railway Line.
- Ninety Mile Beach is actually only 90 kilometres long. The 90 Mile Beach stretches for some 60 miles and is a major draw for backpackers in New Zealand. It’s a long stretch of packed white sand where travelers and locals alike often take their vehicles. If you really want to experience 90 Mile Beach, you need to be in a vehicle cruising at sixty miles an hour with sand dunes on one side of your vehicle and the Tasman Sea on the other.
- As was Baron Ernest Rutherford, who was the first man to split an atom. He also discovered (and named) the proton. Baron Ernest Rutherford was a New Zealand-born British physicist who became known as the father of nuclear physics. He established a new branch of physics called radioactivity. His work on radioactive decay won him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
New Zealand – History and Cultural Facts
- While it is no longer the case, New Zealand was once governed as a part of the territory of New South Wales (later a part of Australia). When Australia federated in 1901, New Zealand was offered a place as one of their states. New Zealand refused and is its own country with no ties (other than economic and commonwealth) to Australia.
- In 1893, New Zealand became the first country to give women the right to vote. The Electoral Bill granting women the franchise was given Royal Assent by Governor Lord Glasgow on 19 September 1893, and women voted for the first time in the election held on 28 November 1893 (elections for the Māori electorates were held on 20 December). In 1893, Elizabeth Yates also became Mayor of Onehunga, the first time such a post had been held by a female anywhere in the British Empire
- On August 19, 2013, New Zealand legalised same-sex marriage. A bill for legalisation was passed by the New Zealand House of Representatives on 17 April 2013 by 77 votes to 44 and received Royal Assent.
- New Zealand was voted the world’s best country in 2007 and 2008 by Wanderlust magazine. Wanderlust is a British travel magazine, covering adventurous, cultural and special interest travel. It is published ten times a year. It was established in Windsor, Berkshire in 1993 by Paul Morrison and Lyn Hughes, who had observed the absence of a publication combining their interests in wildlife, activities and cultural insights.
- Pelorus Jack was a dolphin who guided ships through dangerous and rocky waters around New Zealand in the early 1900s. Pelorus Jack was a Risso’s dolphin that was famous for meeting and escorting ships through a stretch of water in Cook Strait, New Zealand, between 1888 and 1912
- Kiwi Nancy Wake was the Allies’ most decorated servicewoman of WWII and the Gestapo’s most wanted person during World War II. In 2006 Nancy received the New Zealand Returned Services Association’s highest honour, the RSA Badge in Gold, as well as life membership for her work with the French resistance during the war.
- New Zealand was first discovered by Europeans in 1642 when Dutch sailor Abel Tasman arrived. He left New Zealand after several of his crew was killed by Maoris, and it was not until 1769 that English Captain James Cook arrived and mapped the land.
- Upon her accession on 6 February 1952, Elizabeth became Head of the Commonwealth and queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries. Queen Elizabeth II is officially Queen of New Zealand at the age of 25. She is represented in New Zealand by a Governor General, who ratifies all laws put before him or her by the elected parliament of New Zealand.
- Britannia was first used by Elizabeth when she embarked from Tobruk, Libya, with the Duke of Edinburgh on May 1, 1954, for the final stage of their Commonwealth tour returning to the Pool of London. The last time Elizabeth was onboard for an official visit was on 9, 1997, for a visit to Arran, Scotland.
- New Zealand was forced out of the ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand, and United States) alliance in the 1980s when it outlawed nuclear arms and power. To this day, there are no nuclear power stations in New Zealand, and a change of law would be required before one could be built. New Zealand retains its military ties with the United Kingdom.
- The last and only other British monarch to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee was Queen Victoria in 1897, at the age of 77. At 86, Queen Elizabeth will be the oldest monarch to celebrate this occasion.
- In 2008, Henry the tuatara became a father for the first time at the age of 111. A tuatara is a reptile native to New Zealand. Henry, a New Zealand tuatara, confounded experts who believed he was past it when he succumbed to the charms of Mildred last year. Henry, a long-time resident of the Southland Museum and Art Gallery, on South Island, had previously ignored female tuatara, or even attacked them. As well as finally proving Henry’s virility, the hatchlings will give a much-needed boost to the genetic diversity of an endangered species.